Railing Against

Dictionary.com defines rail against as:

verb (used without object)

1. to utter bitter complaint or vehement denunciation (often followed by at or against): to rail at fate.

I don’t often use this phrase but sometimes you just need to be able to vehemently denounce something. Sometimes life is so unfair that nothing but a bitter complaint will even come close to adequately expressing the emotion felt.

  • A spouse betrays and abandons his family
  • A teenager is killed in a car accident
  • A college student is assaulted and violated
  • Chronic pain robs quality of life from a man
  • A young woman is left a widow; her children without a father
  • People praying to God are shot down in a sanctuary

How do we make sense of any of these things? How do we face the darkness?

Sometimes, I have found we  just have to rail against them. It doesn’t matter if

  • “God is working things out for the good.”
  • Or if “He doesn’t give you anymore than you can handle.”
  • Or if “Beauty comes after the ashes.”

Because there is will be moments or days or weeks or months or years when the darkness is so black and the pain so deep that even those kind and hopeful words cause more hurt than healing. When our good intentions and best advice don’t bring about the expected result. When even the faintest light causes us to wince because we just can’t bear it yet.

There are questions too big for answers at times like this. Why? How long? How far? What else?

Where do we go to rail against the pain, the diagnosis, the injustice?

We go to the God who is big enough for these times. He’s big enough to stand beside us as we rail against our hurts, our bitterness, our pain. And He’s big enough to stay with us even when our weakness pulls us away. And He’s big enough to withstand the moments when there is just not “good” answer.





 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 38, 39




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